"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

“Missouri Plan” Back in the National Spotlight

June 16th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

Term limits and petition reform activist Paul Jacob writes in Human Events magazine today on the new vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court. The current vacancy was created by the appointment of Justice Steven Limbaugh last week to the federal bench. Jacob, a member of the so called “Oklahoma three” was arrested and charged late last year with the heinous crime of petitioning the Oklahoma state government.

By Paul Jacob

The issue of how we get our judges bubbles up again because the state of Missouri has a new job opening for a supreme court justice. Justice Steven Limbaugh — Rush’s cousin — has left, taking an appointment to the federal bench.

But the governor now picks a person to be confirmed by the state senate, right?

Wrong. Not in Missouri. Instead, the Appellate Judicial Commission, in a closed process, chooses three nominees. The governor is then forced to take one of their picks.

You can see what this seems like: an insider game, a stacked deck.

The seven member commission — composed of three lawyers elected by members of the Missouri Bar, three people appointed by the governor and the state’s chief justice — is essentially controlled by the Missouri Bar Association. Current Governor Matt Blunt has made only one appointment to the commission.

Is it really a good idea to have our most powerful judges determined largely by a private organization? Read more…

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